Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with Lurrie Bell

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Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with Lurrie Bell

Postby blueswriter » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:24 pm

Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with Lurrie Bell
Chan's Eggrolls & Jazz - Woonsocket, RI
July 18/19, 2008


(Photo by Kate Moss)

Nick Moss & The Flip Tops certainly don't need any extra ammunition when they play. They are on top of their game and riding a growing wave of popularity among blues fans here and abroad. With four nominations for the 2008 Blues Music Awards going to either Nick, his most-recent recording Play It Til Tomorrow, or bandmember Gerry Hundt, it's no surprise The Flip Tops are making as much racket as they are. And it's not only Nick and his own band shining brightly; Nick's Blue Bella label has blossomed into a major force among blues fans with six titles by Nick, two from harp player Bill Lupkin, a pair from The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, and one from Nick's partner in crime in The Flip Tops, Gerry Hundt. Add Nick's wife, Kate, to the list of accomplices as well. She designs the Blue Bella releases and advertising campaigns, photographs the artists and contributes guitar and bass chores on some recordings. She also manages to catch The Flip Tops as often as possible, as she did for the recent weekend in Rhode Island.

Nick and the gang blew into Woonsocket for two nights on the 18th and 19th of July and brought Chicago blues guitarist Lurrie Bell with them. Nick's fifth CD, Live At Chan's (Blue Bella BBCD 1005), has become a fan favorite so plans were made to return to Chan's and capture more magic for a forthcoming project. The recording event was certainly well-planned and executed while attendance was strong and enthusiastic over both nights.

As might be expected with a planned 'live' recording, the song selection over both nights was similar, though not carbon-copied. Nick & The Flip Tops stepped out first both Friday and Saturday with a number of fine choices including Lonnie Brooks' Crashed Head On Into Love, a simmering slow blues with highly-visual and sexually-charged lyrics; "I was in a wreck last night." Moss also offered up his own You Make Me So Angry and Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson's Lonesome In My Bedroom. With Nick as the featured frontman, Gerry "The Utility Man" Hundt delivered the rumbling low end on bass. Hundt then picked up the mandolin cutting loose for Whiskey Makes Me Mean, Test Of Time and the gritty Chicago's A Hard Place, and blew powerful harmonica on the stomping instrumental Fill 'er Up. For those who have seen a Flip Tops show, when Gerry fronts the band, Nick plays the role of sideman perfectly on guitar and even displays his own more-than-enviable skills with a harp. Nick's wife Kate took over bass detail both nights when Gerry took the microphone, and she's always up to the task. With Willie O'Shawny on piano and organ and Bob Carter shuffling the grooves from behind the drumkit, Nick Moss & The Flip Tops are not to be taken lightly. This outfit means business and they deliver.

Lurrie Bell took the stage both nights to thunderous applause and made good on his promise to "play some blues." Bell relied on established gems like Don't You Lie To Me, I'm Ready, Five Long Years, Hoochie Coochie Man, Everything Gonna Be Alright and Winehead Woman but these weren't just an assortment of cover tunes. Bell was simply on fire sounding tough and tender as a vocalist and his guitar playing was as supple one moment as it was razor-sharp the next. With touches of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Magic Sam and others in his guitar efforts, Lurrie mesmerized the audience with lengthy and creative solos. It's truly a pleasure seeing this man firmly back on his feet and commanding a stage after years of problems and sporadic activity. Just seeing his smile light up the room brought pleasure to many in the crowd. If that wasn't enough, Ronnie Earl was among Friday night's crowd and sat in with Lurrie giving the blues faithful another reason to celebrate.

While there aren't many bands delivering pure Chicago Blues night after night, there aren't ANY delivering as well as these guys do. Lurrie Bell was absolutely spell-binding and superb and his efforts were perfectly matched by Nick Moss & The Flip Tops. With everything recorded over the two nights, it's a sure bet the next CD from will be another top-drawer release on the Blue Bella imprint. There are plans for a DVD release as well so stay tuned.

For Kate's pictures from the weekend, look HERE.

Special thanks to Nick, Kate and Gerry for their hospitality. It's a pleasure hearing them. It's an honor knowing them.
Last edited by blueswriter on Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nick Moss & The Flip Tops with Lurrie Bell

Postby ricochet » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:03 am

Sounds like a really great time!
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